W4 Activity: Dating With HIV

The episode of “True Life” that I chose to watch was about the daily lives of people with HIV with special interest in how they go about dating. The episode follows two people in particular, a man and a woman. The woman has had HIV since birth and has lived with its side effects her whole life. She talks about how, ever since she was young, people would always see her as the girl with AIDS, and would often be treated differently because of her “potentially” harmful disease. The woman is actually in a relationship with a guy who does not have HIV. The couple is determined to have a safe relationship and taken every precaution to prevent her partner from contracting HIV. She meets her doctor often to discuss the status of her condition, and they doctor helps her how to be safe when she is dating. She makes certain to be upfront and honest about her condition to anyone she considers dating. The other man in the episode is in a bit of a different situation. He was recently diagnosed with HIV and has been learning how to manage his illness for the first time. The man experiences the stigma of HIV when new people he meets are afraid of him, and treat him poorly because of his disease. Because of this he tends to keep his condition a secret unless it is absolutely necessary to tell someone, which is a very different approach than the woman. It seems like illness narratives play an important role in both of their lives. Speaking about their disease gives them a chance to share their emotions with their friends and family. They definitely have struggles in their lives and suffer from an incurable illness so I believe their illness narratives could be defined as Chaos Narratives.

Leave a Reply